Friday, January 11, 2002

I was talking with a friend last night about how I was feeling about shipping Radio 8.0, and recalled how Radio got its start for me.

I went to a party at Dave’s invitation, over on Potrero Hill here in San Francisco. Dave and I got to talking. He asked “Hey Jake, is there any way you can get Frontier to play music for me?” This was in the height of the Napster/P2P craze.

I said, “Hmmm… Let me think about it for a sec.” So I did. A few months earlier, I had been working at Sonic Solutions, on some JavaScript code that would integrate DVD playback with the web browser, so I had a little background knowledge, that I knew would make this possible. I realized that since I could embed the Windows Media Player in a web page, and that since Frontier is supremely adept at generating and serving dynamic web pages, that I could trick the Media Player into letting Frontier do the driving. The answer was “Yes, I can do it.”

Well, that wrecked the party for me — in a good way. I couldn’t wait. I stuck around for another hour or two, and then went home and started coding. Before I hit the sack for the night, I had a rudimentary version of what later became Radio 7.0.1’s Music Tool working in Frontier. It was called suites.playlist.

Well, in 8.0, suites.playlist is no more. Good ridance. Anyway, I can’t take credit for everything Radio does — far from it. The Team gets the credit. It took all of us to make it happen. Everyone here at UserLand has poured their hearts, minds, and energy into it, and while the feature-set is staggering, Radio 8.0 is so easy to use, that it almost seems like a contradiction.

This evening we flipped the switch, and Radio 8.0 is live and shipping. Please try it — I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.